Holy Spirit: The Truth—P5 “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). To this day, most people take for granted the idea that impartial, absolute truth is preeminently valuable. But this wasn’t always the case. In ancient times, everyone claimed their own “truth.” Truth was partial. The political and religious leaders knew well that there were different “truths” for different people. Among the initiated, there was one truth—among the masses, another—among women, another— among the slaves, another, and so on. “Truth” was nothing more than “perception” — a useful tool to conquer, control, and manipulate. This is why Pilate asked rhetorically, “what is truth?” (Jn. 18:38b). As a Roman, he had no use for the idea of objective, universal truth that applied to and was available to everyone. It was so useless to him, he wasn’t even threatened by “King” Jesus (Romans took sedition very seriously), because Jesus said He was a king of truth (Jn. 18:38). To Pilate, and most people in the ancient world, “truth” was what you made it, and they held onto their power by making people believe their “truths.” But this changed when the Spirit of Truth entered the world, for He guides mankind “into all the truth” (Jn. 16:13). Through the Church, the Spirit began convicting the world of an objective and absolute truth. God’s Word teaches that absolute Truth is His attribute. As the Gospel spread, people in the west gradually began taking God’s Word seriously, and in its pages, they read that God is a “God of truth” (Is. 65:18b), and He demands truth in us and from us: “You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom” (Ps. 51:6). There IS an objective, all-encompassing truth that only
July 20 2018
God owns, and He will judge all men by it in the end, for “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against...men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). He commands all men to be truthful from the heart and to pursue and love truth, which does not change for position or power. “These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates” (Zech. 8:16). It was through the Church, the testimony of the Gospel, and the conviction of the Spirit that free society gradually formed, the scientific revolution happened, and the justice system turned a blind eye to race, wealth, and power. All the blessings of knowledge and wisdom that have come into the modern world have come from the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word in the Church to convict the entire world that there is an objective truth that governs all things—that is accessible to everyone, can be discovered, and can be invoked by the weakest to defend themselves against even the mightiest of men. This has come to be the backbone of western culture, justice, education, and science. Everyone deserves to know truth, from the highest king to the lowest slave, “and the truth will make you free” (Jn. 8:3132), for Jesus Christ is the embodiment of absolute Truth (Jn. 14:6), and “if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (Jn. 8:36). Unfortunately, today the west is abandoning God’s Word and devaluing truth. Whether in leadership, science, medicine, or business, more people are turning again to exploit others by their perceptions to confuse, disorient, and extort them. They do not seek to free their neighbors in love by the knowledge of the truth. At the same time they cast aspersions at the Church of Christ, claiming it peddles lies to manipulate people! This is untruthful and ignorant of history. May we pray man returns to valuing God’s Word and truth. Amen.
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